Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Weekend in Kansas City

I spent this past weekend in and around Kansas City, Missouri with my friends Kathleen and Joey.

Kathleen and I left the Twin Cities on Thursday afternoon to drive to
Ottowa, Kansas, where Kathleen's son Joey was concluding a week-long music camp. Regular readers of The Wild Reed would know that over the years Kathleen, Joey and I have traveled together to a number of destinations, including St Louis, Wisconsin, and Trempealeau Mountain.

Kathleen and I spent Thursday night in Iowa, as guests of the Des Moines Catholic Worker Community. Pictured above is the Bishop Dingman House – one of the community's four houses of hospitality.

Above: Kathleen with Frank Cordaro on the front porch of the community's Phil Berrigan House.

The community describes itself as follows:

The Des Moines Catholic Worker Community, founded in 1976, is a response to the Gospel call to compassionate action as summarized by the Catholic Worker tradition. We are committed to a simple, nonviolent lifestyle as we live and work among the poor. We directly serve others by opening our home for those in need of food, clothing, bedding, a shower, or a cup of coffee and conversation. We also engage in activities that foster social justice.

Above: The Imes Bridge, one of the famous bridges of Madison County.

The Imes Bridge is actually the oldest of the county's remaining covered bridges. Built in 1870, the 81 foot long bridge was originally located over the Middle River west of the town of Patterson. It was relocated in 1887 and then again in 1977 to its present site over a natural ravine just east of the township of St. Charles.

The interior of the bridge was covered in declarations of love – including the one at right.

Above: Iowan skies!

Above: Joey's final concert at the Sound Encounters music camp – Ottowa, KS, Friday, June 15, 2012.

Left: Joey (center) and friends.

Above: The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Kansas City, Missouri – Saturday, June 16, 2012.

Above and below: The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, Missouri – Saturday, June 16, 2012.

Notes Wikipedia:

The building, which took nearly five years to complete, contains 40,000 square feet of glass, 25,000 cubic yards of concrete, and 27 steel cables. The main lobby, Brandmeyer Great Hall, is built of a glass ceiling and sloping glass walls that provide a panoramic view of Kansas City to the south. The twenty-seven steel cables on the south façade are anchored in embeds that weigh approximately one and a half tons, and the embeds are an extension of the foundation and bedrock beneath the building. When the steel cables were pulled taut during the construction process, the entire steel structure shifted two to six inches to the south. This tensioning provides stability to the structure and keeps the glass lobby securely in place. . . . The Kauffman Center was designed by lead architect Moshe Safdie, acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, theater consultant Richard Pilbrow, and engineering firm Arup.

The center’s exterior consists of two symmetrical half shells of vertical, concentric arches that open toward the south. Each shell houses one acoustically independent performance venue, although the backstage area is shared. The south façade of the Center is made entirely of glass. Safdie describes the lobby as “an expansive glazed porch contained by a glass tent-like structure.” For those inside Brandmeyer Great Hall, the glass puts Kansas City on display; for those on the outside, the Kauffman Center becomes like a terrarium, revealing the thousands of attendees backlit against the white interior.

Above and left: Kansas City's famed 18th and Vine District. Along with New Orleans's Basin Street, Beale Street in Memphis, 52nd Street in New York City and Los Angeles's Central Avenue, the 18th and Vine area is internationally recognized as one of the cradles of jazz.

The building above houses the American Jazz Museum and the Negro League Baseball Museum, both of which we visited.

Above: One of Kansas City's most famous BBQ joints – Arthur Bryant's at 18th and Brooklyn.

Above: The famed Blue Room jazz club at which we saw Darcas Gates perform (right).

Says Blue Room General Manager Gerald Dunn:

Named after the famed 1930s Street Hotel club in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District, the Blue Room simultaneously honors the past and showcases the present names in jazz. A multifaceted exhibit highlighting the countless musicians who crafted "Kansas City jazz," a sound known all over the world, the Blue Room also provides a distinctive platform to present dynamic performances from the best local and national jazz talent in an intimate setting.

Above: Darcus Gates and her band performing at the Blue Room – Saturday, June 18, 2012.

Left: Joey with Darcus. As well as being a gifted vocalist, Darcus is an incredibly warm, funny and down-to-earth person.

Above: Kathleen and Joey with Lyvette, another warm and friendly Kansas City resident we met when spending time in the 18th and Vine District.

Above: When both traveling to and coming back from Kansas City, we enjoyed the good food at Nana Greer's Family Table Restaurant in Osceola, Iowa!

Above: Homeward bound!

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Road Trip to St. Louis – Part 1: Following the Mississippi
Road Trip to St. Louis – Part 2: Dubuque
Road Trip to St. Louis – Part 3: St. Louis
Road Trip to St. Louis – Part 4: The Arch
Road Trip to St. Louis – Part 5: Carondelet
Wisconsin Adventure – Part 1: Black River Falls
Wisconsin Adventure – Part 2: The Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail
Wisconsin Adventure – Part 3: Potosi
River Walk
Mississippi Adventure
Climbing Barn Bluff
Adventures in Mississippi River Bluff Country

1 comment:

Clarence said...

Reading the description of the Des Moines Catholic Worker Community: so, that's where all the Christians went!

I don't know how the Kaufman family made its money, but they were good enough to build their major league sports stadium without making the residents pay for it. Makes it worth a trip to the ball park.